Oh you know, just popping in with some bump photos in the snow that I took in the 4 minutes that I wasn’t wearing leggings and a shapeless sweater all weekend. Because as I told James:
“I need you to take a bump shot of me. I can’t master that whole mirror selfie thing without looking really dumb — plus we don’t even have mirrors unpacked yet!”
“You know that our kid will have zero interest in looking at these photos, right?”
Ah husband, someday you will learn that logic bears little sway over the compulsive first pregnancy bump shots- shots that I will probably stop sharing with the public once I hit the whale stage of that final month. But for now- shivering in the cold it is.
Last week was one of the landmark ones in pregnancy (My brother in law: “So…. being in pregnant is like a big deal, right?” YES. YES IT IS.). It marked 20 weeks, halfway through, and that big fancy ultrasound where gender is revealed and we make sure that we are having a baby and not a puppy, as I recently dreamed. But since last week was also the craziness of moving and preparing for snowzilla, this special milestone didn’t get its own fancy bump documentation, so I am tossing up 21 weeks as close enough.
Seeing our baby on that screen was amazing. I mean, yes, I didn’t know what I was seeing half the time, but as soon as the tech told us that we were looking at kidneys or a liver or the brain or whatever, I instantly recognized our baby as having the cutest organs there ever were. And I hate to brag or anything, but the doctor couldn’t stop praising the textbook perfection of our kid’s umbilical cord insertion, and you better believe that I will be including that on college apps. When we got a look at the face, I realized that I had seen it somewhere before. Here, in fact, you can see an uncanny ressemblance at what the face looked like, thoroughly annoyed at the entire process. The ultrasound also confirmed what my long-limbed husband and I already knew: we will be birthing a spider baby with appendages that go on for days.
We opted to have the tech write the gender down for us to open together later. I’m not into the gender reveal party thing, as I wanted it to just be James, me, and all my preggo hormone-driven emotions. Thus, after a lengthy Trader Joe’s run, we sat on the couch and opened the envelope to find that we are having…
…a boy! Which, I might add, was exactly as I had predicted, given my strict Old Wives tales research and gut instinct, aided by a couple dreams (including the puppy one- it was twins, one human boy, one cute puppy).
I have all sorts of emotions about being a boy mom. I am thrilled, because that ultrasound showed a healthy boy who will come into our lives and give all later children the older brother that I always loved having. I always felt secretly superior growing up that I had an older brother, and I cannot wait for any other kids to enjoy that. I am excited to watch James and this little guy be best friends, and I am pumped about the energetic fun that playing with little boys entails. My own love of dinosaurs, competitive games, building forts, and Star Wars is about to come in very handy.
And yet, there is something so daunting about being a boy mom, about having the responsibility to teach this boy how to stand up for those less fortunate, to respect women, to be strong and yet humble, and love the Lord. To teach him a correct view of manliness in a world so often wrong about what it means to be a man. Girls seem easier, because I am one. They are familiar. And in my opinion and observation, the mom culture objectively prefers girls. The mom and baby world seems inherently more inclined to hair-bows and girl dates than to baseballs and wild games. When you tell other moms that you are having a boy, they usually respond with some variation of “James must be so excited” or “you might have a girl next time!” On one hand, this is a triumph of feminism, as it means that we live in a culture and country that wants daughters and views them as equal citizens. But on the other hand, it leaves us expectant boy moms feeling a little let down, not by the babies we carry, but by something we can’t even put our finger on, by feeling excluded from the feminized world of prenatal exuberance.
But I can put my hand on my stomach, and think about the baby growing there, the son who will make me a boy mom and show me how awesome it’s going to be.
Baby boy, we have zero names for you and the theme for your nursery is currently “cardboard boxes of things that we still don’t know what to do with.” The only things we have purchased for you are an entire winter wardrobe for next year of bear suits and beanies with antlers, as one of your parents got a little carried away with some end of season sales — I’ll let you guess which.
But we are so thrilled that you are ours, our boy.